March 23, 2017 | The Conversation
Restaurants pledged to make kids’ meals healthier – but the data show not much has changed
Chain restaurants are not known for serving up healthy kids’ meals. Most entrees on a kids’ menu are either fried, breaded or doused in cheese. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rare side dish options, and French fries abound.
Looking at nutritional content alone, some drinks could easily be mistaken for candy. For example, one serving of “Sharks in the Water” – a blue raspberry soft drink sold at Friendly’s – has more than an entire day’s worth of added sugar.
With options like these, it isn’t surprising that kids who eat more restaurant food have worse diets than other children.
In recent years, restaurants have vowed to change up the menu and offer healthier choices for kids. But our analysis of the nutritional content of more than 4,000 children’s menu items from across the country shows that, despite the promises, kids’ plates still look much the same.